BY ED SIKOV | It’s so much fun to gloat.
I know, I know — it’s distasteful to revel in someone else’s humiliation. Emily Post would frown upon it. It’s not done in polite society. But I’m not polite, and I’m certainly not in high society, unless you count weed.
Friends, I’d like to introduce you to one of the right-wing’s most unintentionally ridiculous clowns, a pundit whose prognostications never ever turn out to be correct, a man who gets it wrong so often that if he told you that the sky wasn’t going to fall tomorrow I’d strongly advise you to kiss your ass goodbye because we’d all soon be crushed. Gents and ladies, meet Bill Kristol.
During the reign of Bush père, Kristol served as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle. (Stop laughing!) He is the founder and editor of the Weekly Standard, the only real standard of which is its inability to get its guesses right. He’s a frequent guest on Fox News. You can see where all this is going.
If you Google “Bill Kristol wrong” you get about 195,000 hits. That’s impressive. Nicole Belle’s piece on crooksandliars.com chronicles some of his more notorious failures. For instance: “If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she’s going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her, then… Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.” That was Kristol on “Fox News Sunday,” December 17, 2006.
Another foresight that turned out to be slightly off the mark was Kristol’s unbridled support for the war in Iraq: “Removing Saddam Hussein and his henchmen from power would be a genuine opportunity, I think, to transform the political landscape of the Middle East. The rewards would be very great, and I would also say the risks of failing to do this I think are very great.” The “political landscape of the Middle East” has indeed been transformed, but I suspect it hasn’t gone in the ways Kristol envisioned. Iraq and Syria are in chaos, and there’s no end to the ghastly bloodshed in sight.
On Obamacare, Kristol was, in a word, wrong: “If the exchanges are permitted to go into effect… there will be error, fraud, inefficiency, arbitrariness, and privacy violations aplenty… Just as economic shortages were endemic to Soviet central planning, the coming Obamacare train wreck is endemic to big government liberalism. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” Note the redbaiting, as though such pathetic 1950s “rhetoric” — and I use the term loosely — needed to be pointed out. Obamacare has brought affordable insurance to 7.3 million people, and even the GOP is mostly steering clear of it this election cycle.
It’s Esquire’s political blogger Charlie Pierce who has been the most articulate commentator on the subject of Bill Kristol: “Blow me, you monstrous, bloodthirsty fraud, you silly, stupid chickenhawk motherfucker who plays army man with the children of people who are so much better than you are, and who would feed innocent civilians in lands you will never visit into your own personal meatgrinder to service your semi-annual martial erection.”
Okay, okay — Charlie is particularly unfond of him. But many political writers have chronicled Kristol’s abysmal record of prophecies — so many, in fact, that when Rachel Maddow listed some of them back in March, she was roundly hissed and harassed by legions of bloggers who have been writing about Kristol’s habitual erroneousness for years. I saw that evening’s broadcast and I thought it was fabulous, but I can see why the bloggers, long on the Kristol’s trail, were irritated.
What’s my interest in Bill Kristol at the moment? Why do I think he’s worth retreading? Simply this beautiful quotation, the Kristol clarity I cherish the most:
“I think this is the high water mark of the gay rights movement in the United States.”
The year was 1993.
Some of our younger readers weren’t born when Kristol made that prediction. Kristol was referring to the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation that took place that year. A million of us showed up for it.
Where does one begin to list the accomplishments the LGBT community has achieved since then?
1996: Throwing out an anti-gay Colorado referendum, the Supreme Court rules that moral disapproval or animus cannot justify singling gays out for disparate treatment under the law.
2003: In Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court rules that sodomy laws were unconstitutional, and all of them disappear. Poof!
2004: Same-sex marriages begin in Massachusetts.
2011: The military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy goes the way of the dodo.
2013: The Supreme Court strikes down the vile Defense of Marriage Act.
2014: Nineteen states now have full marriage equality — and the Supreme Court this week considers whether to take up the issue on a nationwide basis. It will likely conclude that the time has come.
No, it isn’t news that Kristol is notoriously wrong on just about everything and that he’s a complete embarrassment to himself and to conservative politics as a whole. As Bob Ceca put it recently, “Whatever Kristol says, the opposite must be true.” I just wanted to make sure Media Circus readers were up to speed on this worthless hack’s sorry, inept, hilarious history. Here’s to ya, Bill. Keep up the good work!